Thanks for your support of our adoption journey. We would love for you to join us in praying that God would give us wisdom, patience and perseverance as we go through the process to adopt our children! We appreciate the many people walking this adoption journey with us in prayer! ~Jon & Bethany

January 31, 2011

Mary Kay Fundraiser

I want to share this opportunity to support our adoption with all you ladies out there...
Jon's aunt is a Mary Kay consultant and has agreed to donate 20% of sales to our Adoption when you mention my name at checkout now through Feb. 17th at 10pm!

So if you're running low on your favorite Mary Kay products, NOW would be a great time to re-order!

You can place your order on her website @ just make sure you mention my name (Bethany M) in the notes section!

You can also place your order by phone @ (502) 228-9800 and mention my name.

Just remember to place your order before Feb. 17th @ 10pm!


January 28, 2011

Interview Round 1

We have gathered all the documents needed for our first Home Study interviews! I'm excited, and can't believe we've gotten so much done in one month. You can be thinking of us this coming Tuesday evening as Jon & I sit down with our Home Study worker for the first time and answer I'm guessing about a million questions about ourselves.
We have also gathered almost all we need to send in our application to our agency, we're just waiting on one last reference letter. We're planning on mailing it first thing next week, and will hopefully get approved with no problems. I'm excited to get the list of documents needed for our dossier, I really hope we don't have to repeat anything we've already done. We shall see....

Anywho, I gotta run and take care of our poor sick little guy. His cold has taken a turn for the worst in the last 24 hours and he's a whiny, clingy, runny-nosed, coughing mess right now. Praying for the Lord's healing, quickly!
Love, Bethany
(Can't wait until we're officially on the waiting list & I can say I'm "expecting" from Ethiopia!)

January 23, 2011

No, Mr. President: John Piper's Response to President Obama on Abortion

I want to share this wonderful, truth-filled sermon excerpt from John Piper today, on Sanctity of Life Sunday. Join me in praying that God would put an end to abortion, the murder of innocent children, in our country very soon!

One biblical response to the horror of abortion is ADOPTION.  So here we are Lord. Please knit our family together through the adoption of "unwanted" children. And we praise you, Father, for the birth mothers of our children (whom we have never met yet)  that they had mercy on their babies and didn't murder them out of convenience or because they didn't think they could care for them. I pray for their protection right now, Lord! One of my children could be in his/her mother's womb right this second and I pray that you would continue to keep them safe and healthy until I can come to them & bring them home to our family forever!

January 21, 2011

(Almost) Home Study Ready!

We have had a wonderfully busy week getting things ready for our Home Study so we can do our first interviews soon. We only have a few things left to check off the list!

-Jon had his medical forms completed yesterday, and I have my doctor's appointment today.

-We already received our birth and marriage certificates from KY. (still waiting on mine. Yes, I have lived in Louisville my whole life, but this may come as a shock to some: I was born in Illinois and lived there a whole 6 weeks before moving to Louisville.)

- Got "good standing" letter from our bank

- Sent my passport in to be updated. (I was sort of putting it off because I really didn't want to write that check for $110. I keep kicking myself for not getting my name updated the year we got married because it would have been FREE! Grr.)

-Sent off for background checks to all the states my hubby has lived in during the last 10 years: IN & SC.
We had to pay about $20 per state to get a paper that said "nothing." There is nothing on his criminal record anywhere. (I guess I should be relieved that he isn't and never has been a criminal. haha)

- Went on a date for our 4th Wedding anniversary and ended up looking at baby name books in a bookstore. I think we finally found two we can both agree on... =) But we're not telling YET. =)

I also just want to mention this so I don't forget. We have been SO blessed to get to meet with 5 couples this month who are going through the adoption process for Ethiopia right now or who have already adopted children from Ethiopia. Four of the families adopted a boy and girl under 2 through the same agency we're using, so we have been so blessed by them sharing their experience and have gleaned MUCH wisdom. We feel much better prepared for the process and know a little more what to expect.

We know that, much like the 9 months of pregnancy, the adoption journey will  have its ups and downs, highs and lows, Joys and Pains, and in the end it will ALL BE WORTH IT!

Please feel free to check out my Etsy store to SHOP to support our Adoption! I have cute new handmade satin flower headbands for adults, and lots of hair bows, headbands, pacifier clips, Key Fobs, nursing covers, and more. And the best part is that 100% of the profits from the store go directly in our Adoption Fund!

January 15, 2011

Baby Steps

We are making baby steps of progress this week in our adoption!!

1. We sent off for certified copies of our birth and marriage certificates for our dossier

2. We applied and were accepted by our Home Study agency, Adoption Assistance!

3. We filled out the application for the agency we are pretty sure we're going to use.

4. I have my passport ready to mail in to get my name changed on it (it still has my maiden name from our honeymoon). Apparently, if I had done the name change within the 1st year it would be free, but since I didn't know that and waited, now it's going to cost me $110. boo.

We have spent $157 so far on the first 2 steps, and will owe $250 when we mail in our application to our agency. And $110 for my passport update. The little things are already starting to add up.

We are going to try to do a fundraiser soon. We'd love to hear suggestions if you have any ideas!

And now to bring my mind back to what is true, right, and honorable:

"Religion that is pure and undefiled before God, the Father, is this: to visit orphans and widows in their affliction, and to keep oneself unstained from the world." - James 1:27

January 12, 2011

1-11-11.. the Rollercoaster ride begins...

the Emotional Rollercoaster, that is.

Yesterday was a day of emotional highs and lows, and we JUST started this whole adoption process!! I have been so proud of myself lately, thinking that I have been much better at keeping my emotions in check & not being ruled by them. Time for the Lord to insert a humbling experience I guess...

I talked with someone from the agency we are planning on using yesterday to ask her a few questions. She was very nice, very helpful, and honest with me, all of which I appreciate. She informed me that the agency isn't putting any more families on their waiting list for a girl under 3 right now.
Wait, what? Can you say that again? I must have misunderstood.
We're not accepting applications for girls under 3. But will re-evaluate in 4-6 months.
My heart dropped.
I wanted to say, "You don't understand, we are adopting a boy AND a girl under 2 from Ethiopia. That is our plan, it has been for over a year!"
But I said, "Ok, thank you for your help," and called my husband to tell him the news. As I was relaying the news I lost it. I sobbed my eyes out for the beautiful little girl whose hair I've dreamed of braiding. Who I'll sit and talk with, or play dolls with, or just cuddle with for hours. I LOVE, I mean absolutely love having a son (Jonah is such a JOY and a precious gift from the Lord), but I want to experience raising a daughter as well.

My perfect little adoption plan bubble has been popped. And only 2 weeks into the process. But you know, that is probably a good thing. I need little reminders sometimes to remember to rely solely on the Lord, and to not lean on my own understanding or ability. I am an organzier, a planner, but the Lord's plans are ALWAYS exceedingly & abundantly better than anything I can ever ask or imagine! So here we are.
We are adopting, but apparently God's plans for our family may be a little different than we originally thought. While I think I'm still partially in denial that we will may not be able to adopt a girl this time, I know that the Lord may have a daughter out there for us in India, or Guatemala, or Haiti, or some other country that isn't open to adopt from right now. So I am focusing my energy today on believing in God's timing and His word:
"For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord.
Plans to prosper you, and not to harm you,
Plans to give you a future and a hope."
-Jeremiah 29:11

I would love it if you would pray with us and for us as we walk this adoption journey and trust solely in the Lord's plans for our family. Please pray that God would protect our children and keep them safe and healthy until we are able to bring them home! Please pray for us to discern the Lord's plans for the details of our adoption, whether we should adopt 1 or 2 boys, or if God is already working on re-opening applications for girls around the time we finish our homestudy. And pray for us to trust in God's provision for the adoption expenses, which are already slowly adding up. We are so thankful that God has adopted my husband and I as sons and daughter of the King of Kings, and cannot wait to adopt our children & bring them home to be not longer orphans, but beloved & cherished sons and (hopefully one day) daughters!

January 6, 2011

Why Ethiopia?

Since 2009, Jon and I have both felt a confirmation of God calling us to care for orphans, specifically through adoption. Through many friends, books {such as "Adopted for Life"}, sermons {this convo w/ Drs. Moore & Stinson is very good}, scripture passages and other resources in our lives God seemed to steer us to the 4.7 million orphans in Ethiopia. Here are just a few reasons why we are planning on adopting from Ethiopia:

(I borrowed these statistics on Ethiopia from this family's adoption blog )

•1 in 6 children die before the age of 5

•1 in 10 children die before the age of 10

•44% of the populate is under 15 years old

•60% of children are stunted from malnutrition

•The median age is 17.8 years old

•Their are approximately 4.7 million orphans in Ethiopia (a country the size of Texas)

•The doctor to child ratio is 1: 24-THOUSAND

•Per capita, Ethiopia receives less aid than any other African country

•Half of the children will never attend school

•88% will never attend secondary school

•Severe drought struck the country from 2000-2002 (2000-no crops; 2001-no seeds; 2002-no animals)

We're so thankful to know other families who God has called to adopt from Ethiopia. Families like Lesli & Ryan, our friends from college, and Jack & Heather, Dave & Stacey, and Dominic & Rebecca, friends from our church.
We are feeling called to Ethiopia right now, but we are still praying the that Lord would give us wisdom as to all details of our adoption. We are confident that the Lord will guide our footsteps in a way that glorifies Him and sanctifies us.
We are so thankful that "while we were still sinners, Christ died for us" (Romans 5:8) that we might be adopted (Eph 1:5) by God into his family, the Redeemed!!

January 5, 2011

Fundraiser #1

We have been praying about and planning for our adoption for so long. We first talked about adopting back when we were dating. We always thought it was something we might do "one day." Then the Lord called us to a church where we've been blessed to be surrounded by families who have adopted children, both domestically and internationally. By being in this "adoption culture" we were encouraged that we could really do it. We completed all the training to "Foster to Adopt" before finding out to our surprise that we were pregnant with our first child. After reading Russell Moore's book, "Adopted for Life," during our pregnancy we knew it wasn't "if" we were going to adopt, but when. We knew that it would all have to happen in God's timing.

We actually started our fundraising last summer during "Yard Sale Season." We took TONS of donations from friends and family. Thank you again to everyone who donated!!
We had a great turn out to our yard sale. {I'm still kicking myself for not taking ANY pictures that day. It was huge!} At the end of the day, after lots of sweat & hard work, the Lord provided over $1000 for our adoption!!!!

January 4, 2011

January 4th Update

Well, friends (and family), we feel like we are finally ready to "officially" begin the process to adopt two children into our family! And man are we excited!!
Our current plan is to adopt a boy and girl from Ethiopia!

We are still trying to decide on an agency and whether to do our home study first or join agency first, but have it narrowed down to 2. We'd love your prayers for us to have wisdom to make a good choice of agency, one that will make the whole adoption process an enjoyable & efficient experience!

We were able to talk with friends of ours from church tonight about their in-country experience in Ethiopia with their agency (one of the 2 we are considering). It was very helpful to get their thoughts and reflections while they are fresh on their minds. (They just brought their 2 beautiful children home a few weeks ago!) Not to mention, it was a JOY to watch our son, Jonah, make a new friend in their sweet little boy who is just a few months older!! They played together really well! I'm looking forward to many more play dates in our future. =)

We are also hoping to get together soon and chat with other friends of ours who are using the other agency we are considering to hear about their in-country experience. They went to Ethiopia to adopt their son around Christmas (what an AMAZING Christmas gift?!). So we would love to hear their honest opinions on their agency too.

I am going to call one of the agencies to ask some questions or set up a meeting tomorrow! Wish me luck.

In the meantime, we are REJOICING with so many of our friends over the former orphans that God has called into Godly, Christ-centered homes around us! They are no longer orphans, they are now cherished sons and daughters who will grow up hearing the gospel! Praise the Lord for his mercy & love!!

How It All Began

We sent this letter to friends & family back in July of 2009.
"Dear Family and Friends,

We want to fill you in on what God has been doing in our lives over the last few months. Back in January, as we were celebrating our 2nd wedding anniversary, we were excited to find out that we were expecting our first child. We excitedly told our parents they were going to be grandparents in the fall and went to our first appointment with the OBGYN. To our disappointment, we learned during our 8th week of pregnancy that the baby had stopped growing two weeks earlier. While we grieved this loss we waited for the miscarriage to happen naturally, and two weeks later, during our 10th week of pregnancy, Bethany ended up having to have a D&C surgery to remove our baby.
Through this extremely sad time of suffering, God really drew us closer to Himself. He reminded us daily that He and only He is Sovereign and in control. One of the many scripture passages that we clung to for comfort was Psalm 139, especially verses 13-16,
For you formed my inward parts; you knitted me together in my mother’s womb. I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made. Wonderful are your works; my soul knows it very well. My frame was not hidden from you, when I was being made in secret, intricately woven in the depths of the earth. Your eyes saw my unformed substance; in your book were written, every one of them, the days that were formed for me, when as yet there were none of them.”

It is so comforting to know that our baby, and every baby ever conceived, is in the Lord’s hands. That He knows every day He has planned for their lives before there is even one. So we are very sad for the loss of our child, but we know that God is not any less good or any less Sovereign. And we may not understand at the time why certain things happen, but they are for our good and for God’s glory. “And we know that God works all things together for good for those who love God, for those who are called according to His purpose.” (Romans 8:28).

Through the experience of pregnancy, the Lord has also really shown us our desire to be parents and to raise a child in a loving, Christian home, and teach them the good news of Jesus (the gospel). While we would still love to get pregnant again one day, and are open to that whenever the Lord wills, we feel that He is calling us right now to adoption. And we are excited to share this journey with you, our friends and family! We know that “children are a gift of the Lord” (Psalm 127:3) no matter how they come into your family. God gives children to parents through birth and through adoption. We desire to adopt for many reasons, one of the main reasons being that we were both adopted by God, the Creator of all things, the Giver of life and our Heavenly Father, when we became believers.

We are all born with a sinful nature bent on rebellion from God as a result of the fall in the garden of Eden (Rom. 3:10-18, 23). “But God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us. Since we have been justified by his blood, much more shall we be saved by him from the wrath of God” (Romans 5:8-9). Jon accepted the gospel, and was therefore adopted by God as a son at age 8. Bethany was adopted by God, upon believing in the gospel of Christ at age 20. We both have a relationship with God our Father, thanks to Jesus’ death that atoned for our sin.

But when the fullness of time had come, God sent forth his son, born of a woman, born under the law, to redeem those who were born under the law, so that we might receive adoption as sons. And because you are sons, God has sent the Spirit of his Son (Jesus) into our hearts, crying “Abba! Father!” So you are no longer a slave, but a son, and if a son, then an heir through God” (Galatians 4:4-7).

We want to share the love of God through adoption to any child God will choose for us. We are fortunate to know about 8 couples at our church who have adopted thru the Foster-to-Adopt program in KY. After praying about adoption for months, we began classes for the Foster-to-Adopt program in May. We will complete the 10-week training period at the end of June. We are told we will most likely be approved sometime between August and October to accept a child into our home. We have applied for an infant, anywhere from newborn to 6 months old, and are praying that the Lord would equip us for some long sleepless nights (as any parent of a newborn experiences). We will be acting as Foster parents for an unknown amount of time, typically somewhere between 6 and 22 months, and would be able to legally adopt the child as soon as the parental rights are terminated (if they are terminated).

We want to ask for your prayerful support as we continue to seek the Lord’s wisdom about His plan for our lives and our family. We would love if you would join us in praying for our future child! We pray that God would protect them and keep them safe and that God would give us grace to parent them in a way that is pleasing and Glorifying to Him. We pray that God would help us to rely on Him alone during the uncertainty of the fostering period, and to never forget that He is Sovereign and has “plans to prosper us and not to harm us, to give us a future and a hope” (Jeremiah 29:11) as we wait until the day we can (Lord willing) adopt the child. We have realized through the loss of our own birth child that we have no more control over the health or development of a child during pregnancy than we do over the adoption process; and we are thankful, that in both, we can rely on the Sovereignty and goodness of the God we serve.We are so thankful for all that God has been teaching us about Himself throughout this adoption process, and we hope that He will use it to teach you and draw you to Himself as well. We also want you to know that we will be praying that the Lord would be preparing the hearts of all of our friends and family to love this child as our own, just as we will.

There is an awesome book about adoption that we are reading right now, and want to recommend to all of you. It is called “Adopted for Life” by Russell Moore. We hope that you will have a chance to read it!
 With Love, Jonathan & Bethany "